Winning three All-American awards has helped take the edge off a frustrating end to the 2019/2020 NCAA athletics season for University of Texas sophomore Julien Alfred.
Last week, the talented St. Lucian was recognized for outstanding performances in the 60-metre dash, 200-metre dash and as a member the University of Texas’ 4×400m relay team.
Alfred, who celebrates her 19th birthday on June 10, entered the NCAA Championships as the national leader in the 60-meter dash following a school-record 7.10 she set at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate Invitational back in January.
In the 200-meter dash, her 22.99 made her the eighth-fastest collegiate competitor in 2020, and the seventh-fastest indoor performer in UT history.
Alfred’s 4×400m relay effort came alongside Brooke Jaworski, Stacey Ann Williams and Kennedy Simon at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.
However, just when it seemed like the St Lucian teen was about to really take off this season, fears over the spread of the Coronavirus COVID19 forced the cancellation of the season, indoors and outdoors.
Winning the awards seemed like the only redeeming outcome for the rapidly rising Longhorn sprinter.
“Earning these three awards means a lot to me because of how far I’ve come,” she told Sportsmax.TV on Wednesday.
“I started school in January 2019 and I only got the chance to compete indoors only once, and later on in my freshman year, I got hurt during regionals.
“For a while I was disappointed in myself and quite often began to have self-doubt. But look at where I am today and look at what I’ve accomplished.”
She might have capable of achieving so much more the NCAA not cancelled the season.
Running healthy since she recovered from a hamstring injury that cut her season short in May 2019, Alfred seemed poised to perform at even higher level for Coach Eldrick Floreal in 2020.
The awards, she says, makes the situation a little easier to accept.
“Just knowing how hard I’ve worked to come this far and though I never got the chance to reach the level that I was looking forward to the most, which was nationals, I’m just happy that my achievements this season were recognized,” she said.
The owner of national records in the 100m and 200m, Alfred said the honour she treasures the best is the one that represents the event she hates the most.
“All three awards are meaningful to me. However, earning an all American honour in the 4x400m means a lot to me because as everyone knows, I don’t like anything over 200m,” she said.
“All that is just down to my coach, who allowed me to be on the 4x400m team not only to help me get stronger in the 200m but for me to help my team at conference and nationals. I never thought I would have come this far.
“I am happy with my growth. I remember during my freshman year, I was weak-minded and there were so many other things that I had to work on but my growth is what I’m most pleased about.”
Source: Leighton Levy